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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses medieval pharmacology from both an historical and a therapeutic point of view. It concentrates on medieval Arabic pharmacotherapy and its development through an examination of Ibn Sīnās medical encyclopedia Kitāb al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb, together with three Arabic and two Latin commentaries on it. For historians of science this encyclopedia provides an interesting combination of sophisticated scientific theory and practice based on empirical knowledge achieved through observation. To pharmacologists it offers an almost endless number of potentially useful clues for the development of new drugs. In fact, increasing interest is currently being shown in using older medical literature as a source for drug research.

Keywords: Ibn Sīnā; Kitāb al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb; medieval pharmacotherapy



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